| July 24, 2003
This release was issued from the
office of Congressman Robert A. Brady (D.,PA) and mentions
the planned work of a PENN Medicine researcher.
Brady Announces Collaborative Grant to University
of Pennsylvania, Uzbek Scientists to Develop Radiation
(Washington, DC) - Congressman
Robert A. Brady (D., PA), a member of the House Armed
Services and House Administration Committees, in conjunction
with the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation,
announced today a cooperative anti-terrorism research
grant of $68,000 to a team of University of Pennsylvania
and Russian scientists who will be working on treatments
for radiation injuries and the management of blood diseases.
The grant comes from the U.S. Civilian Research and
Development Foundation (CRDF).
Congressman Brady said the grant supports innovative
and cooperative research that is critical in the global
fight against terrorism. "These times demand scientific
innovation to counter the complexity of the dangers
the world faces because of the spread of weapons of
The joint U.S.-Russian team is headed by Martin
Carroll, MD, member of the Abramson Cancer Center
of the University of Pennsylvania and assistant professor
at Penn's School of Medicine, and Rustam Usmanov of
the Institute of Biochemistry in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The scientists will study certain compounds found in
the spleen of the Central Asian tortoise - a species
that has shown a resistance to radiation that is 50
to 100 time greater than that of a human being's or
any other mammal.
According to Dr. Carroll, current medicine does not
offer completely effective treatment against severe
radiation injury - a factor to consider in the face
of potential nuclear terrorist threats. The Central
Asian tortoise could, however, offer a solution.
"The immune systems of irradiated laboratory mice,
when injected with spleen extracts of the tortoise,
have shown a marked increase in activity," says Dr.
Carroll. "Working with our Uzbek counterparts, we plan
to decode the therapeutic components in those extracts,
find out how they work and then incorporate them into
The cooperative research anti-terrorism grant is part
of a series of awards that fall under the CRDF's Special
Competition for Research on Minimizing the Effects of
Terrorist Acts on Civilian Populations . The Special
Competition is the foundation's response to the events
of September 11, 2001 and was authorized by the CRDF
Board of Directors as a meaningful and timely contribution
to the fight against terrorism.
Each grant provides nine months of support to joint
teams of U.S. and former Soviet scientists working on
finding innovative solutions to minimize the impact
of terrorist threats. A large portion of the grant goes
to the FSU team for individual financial support, equipment,
supplies and travel support, as well as institutional
support to the FSU grantee institution. The remaining
portion of the grant goes to U.S. team expenses for
travel, supplies, and graduate student stipends.
Funding for the CRDF Cooperative Grants Program, which
sponsors the cooperative research anti-terrorism grants,
comes from the U.S. Department of State, National Science
Foundation, and National Institutes of Health. The CRDF
is currently completing its review of additional proposals
and plans to announce further cooperative research awards
in the near future.
The U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation
is a private, nonprofit organization authorized by the
U.S. Congress and established by the National Science
Foundation in 1995. The CRDF supports scientific and
technical collaboration between the United States and
the countries of the former Soviet Union through grants,
technical resources, and training. The foundation also
promotes the transition of weapons scientists to civilian
work to help reduce the global spread of weapons of
mass destruction. The CRDF is based in Arlington, Virginia
with offices in Moscow, Russia and Kyiv, Ukraine.
a printer friendly version of this release, click
Carroll, MD, member of the Abramson Cancer Center of
the University of Pennsylvania and assistant professor
at Penn's School of Medicine, holds vial of protein
extract from the Central Asian tortoise. The proteins
will be studied for their properties that guard against
radiation injury. (2003) For
larger image, click here.